how to decorate with pattern

Photo: © Emily Johnston

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Mistake #1: Picking a Pattern Before Considering Its Message

Before thinking about the individual piece you're applying pattern to (or purchasing already patterned), consider the bigger picture of the pattern's purpose within the room. Choose larger-scale patterns for items or areas you want to be the focal point and draw someone toward, and smaller-scale patterns for ones you want to recede into the space or even hide or camouflage. This highlighting or minimizing through pattern can help define the purpose you have for the space and subliminally inform people how to interact or use the space. For example, accentuating a pair of armchairs with bold pattern will encourage people to sit there.